MLB.com Columnist

Bill Ladson

Ross inspired by Jackie in shutting down Phils

Right-hander throws 7 2/3 scoreless innings, goes 1-for-3 in victory

Ross inspired by Jackie in shutting down Phils

PHILADELPHIA -- Domination is the best way to describe Joe Ross' performance in a 9-1 victory over the Phillies on Friday night. Maybe it helped that it was Jackie Robinson Day.

On a day when Major League Baseball celebrated Robinson breaking the color barrier, the Nationals right-hander was wearing Jackie Robinson socks, which were given to him by teammate Bryce Harper. Manager Dusty Baker also approached Ross before the game and said, "You have to make Jackie proud."

"It's a true incentive to go out there and pitch well," Ross said.

Cut4: Ross' night starts early with 10-pitch AB

Ross blanked Philadelphia over 7 2/3 innings while allowing three hits. At one point during the game, Ross retired 12 consecutive batters.

Ross doubles after 10-pitch AB

The only time Ross was in trouble was in the third inning, when the Phillies loaded the bases with two outs. However, Maikel Franco grounded out to shortstop Danny Espinosa to end the threat.

"The Phillies were aggressive, so I had some quick innings on breaking balls and changeups early in the count," Ross said. "I felt pretty good. Fastball command was pretty good. People were making plays and it all added up."

After the game, Baker couldn't help but talk about Ross' plate appearances. Ross went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk and Baker was impressed how Ross was able to lay off the breaking stuff from the Phillies pitchers. Ross' double came in a 10-pitch at-bat in the first inning.

"[Ross] told me he could hit. Not only did he hit, he stayed off some tough pitches," Baker said." That's what impressed me. He didn't even swing at some of those pitches in the dirt. He could be a big part of our offense [when he plays]."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the Time. He also can be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.